Indianapolis Mayor Joe Hogsett (above) announced he’s running for “a third and final term” Tuesday, coming off the heels of Rep. Robin Shackleford, D-Indianapolis, issuing her own intent to run last week.
Hogsett’s announcement, which sets up a Democratic primary contest with Shackleford, came just hours before former President Donald Trump gave a speech declaring his third run for the presidency.
In his announcement speech at the Indianapolis City Market, Hogsett pointed to his efforts to be the “mayor of all of Indianapolis,” instead of just a Democratic partisan.
“Over the last four years, we solved the $50 million deficit while passing every budget with broad bipartisan support, and we’ve never raised a single tax,” Hogsett said, referring to the city’s annual budgeting process.
Hogsett—who has supported term limits for the position in the past—seemed to suggest this third mayoral run resulted from COVID-19 derailing his second term. He spoke about the pandemic early in his speech, highlighting how Indianapolis combatted it and how the city hosted both the Indy 500 and NCAA March Madness tournament in 2021.
In Hogsett’s time as mayor, there have been major developments, including the newly-opened Criminal Justice Center, Indiana Convention Center expansions, and renovations to Gainbridge Fieldhouse, the home of the Indiana Pacers.
Hogsett has been criticized because of the city’s crime—specifically a record-breaking number of homicides in 2020 and 2021. But he focused on Indianapolis’ violence reduction plan and investments in both the police department and police accountability during his speech, saying Indy has “one of the best-paid, best-trained, best-equipped police departments in the entire country.”
The $150 million violence reduction plan, paid for by the American Rescue Plan, funds “modern policing technology, 100 new IMPD officer positions, and up to 40 IMPD civilian positions to cover non-emergencies,” among other things, according to the Central Indiana Community Foundation.
Shackleford, whose message of “We can do better” during her campaign announcement applied in part to the city’s “residents in all neighborhoods” not being “uniformly safe,” issued a statement following Hogsett’s announcement and in advance of the eventual Democratic primary showdown.
“I welcome the exchange of ideas that the coming months of the campaign will bring,” Shackleford’s statement said. “I am running for mayor because I am the right person to address the issues facing Indianapolis that have not been solved in the past eight years—issues such as tackling root causes of crime; creating a world class workforce; prioritizing diversity, equity and inclusion; and increasing transportation connectivity and infrastructure.”
Jack Sells is a reporter at TheStatehouseFile.com, a news website powered by Franklin College journalism students.